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Income-Induced Expenditure Switching

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  • Bems, Rudolfs
  • di Giovanni, Julian

Abstract

This paper shows that an income effect can drive expenditure switching between domestic and foreign goods. We use a unique Latvian scanner-level dataset for food and beverages, covering the 2008-09 financial crisis, to study (i) relative price movements, and (ii) expenditure switching between domestic and imported goods. We document several empirical findings. First, imports contracted by 26%, with expenditure switching accounting for one third of the fall, while the relative price of foreign goods viz. the food CPI increased by 4.4% during the crisis. Second, the majority of the switching took place between items within narrowly defined product groups, while the relative price adjustment was across product groups. This puzzling asymmetry in expenditure and price adjustments, combined with a finding that consumers substituted towards lower unit value domestic items during the crisis, motivate us to model non-homothetic consumer demand. Over the crisis period, the estimated model explains eighty percent of the observed expenditure switching, which was driven almost entirely by an income effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Bems, Rudolfs & di Giovanni, Julian, 2014. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," CEPR Discussion Papers 9887, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9887
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2018. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 59-76.
    2. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "The Distributional Consequences of Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3477-3509, November.
    3. Rodnyansky, Alexander & Van der Ghote, Alejandro & Wales, Daniel, 2022. "Product quality, measured inflation and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2680, European Central Bank.
    4. Colin Hottman & Surabhi Ghai, 2019. "Exchange Rates, Product Variety, and Substitution in U.S. Scanner Data," 2019 Meeting Papers 1059, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Goetz, D. & Rodnyansky, A., 2019. "Exchange Rate Shocks and Quality Adjustments," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1915, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Suah, Jing Lian, 2020. "Veiled Expectations: The Heterogeneous Impact of Exchange Rate Shocks at the Sectoral-Level," MPRA Paper 109086, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Makram El‐Shagi & William C. Sawyer & Kiril Tochkov, 2022. "The income elasticity of import demand: A meta‐survey," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 18-41, February.
    8. Auer, Raphael & Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Lein, Sarah & Vogel, Jonathan, 2022. "Unequal expenditure switching: Evidence from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 17054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Rudolfs Bems & Julian di Giovanni, 2016. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3898-3931, December.
    10. Gyöngyösi, Győző & Rariga, Judit & Verner, Emil, 2021. "The anatomy of consumption in a household foreign currency debt crisis," SAFE Working Paper Series 332, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    11. David, Joel & Schmid, Lukas & Zeke, David, 2018. "Risk-Adjusted Capital Allocation and Misallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 13205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Konstantins Benkovskis, 2015. "Misallocation of Resources in Latvia: Did Anything Change During the Crisis?," Working Papers 2015/05, Latvijas Banka.
    13. Auer, Raphael A. & Sauré, Philip, 2017. "Dynamic entry in vertically differentiated markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 177-205.
    14. Alessandro Turrini & Stefan Zeugner, 2016. "Baltics’ External Balance: Still a Constraint?," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(04), pages 19-30, January.
    15. Patrick Grüning & Ginters Buss, 2020. "Fiscal DSGE Model for Latvia," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 81, Bank of Lithuania.
    16. A. M. M. Shahiduzzaman Quoreshi & Trudy-Ann Stone, 2019. "Do Global Value Chains Make Firms More Vulnerable to Trade Shocks?—Evidence from Manufacturing Firms in Sweden," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, September.
    17. David, Joel M. & Schmid, Lukas & Zeke, David, 2022. "Risk-adjusted capital allocation and misallocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 684-705.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crisis; Expenditure switching; Non-homothetic preferences; Relative price adjustment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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